Books

Novelist Anna Katharine Green, top left, and her late 1800s novels like "The Leavenworth Case" and "Marked Personal" created the template of modern detective fiction.
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

You may have never heard of the novelist Anna Katharine Green. But if you’ve ever read a detective novel, or followed the sleuthing exploits of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or even Inspector Gamache—you’ve been enjoying the countless authors who followed in Green’s footsteps.

Book lovers, get ready for a slew of reading suggestions on "Vermont Edition."
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Think of all the people you've met, places you've traveled, dishes you've tasted. All in the pages of the books you've read. Vermont Edition presents our summer reading show to introduce you to more new worlds by offering a tome of book recommendations.

"Skip To The End" is the latest graphic novel written by Middlebury author Jeremy Holt.
Insight Comics / Justion Holt courtesy Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Music has the power to transport listeners across time, evoking memories of the past and whisking the listener back to a different age and place.

In his new graphic novel Skip To The End, Middlebury author Jeremy Holt explores how the right piece of music can take a listener back to their youth, to what they were wearing, who they were in love with. And maybe to just moments before something went wrong. 

Author Rick Winston's book "Red Scare In The Green Mountains" looks at the era of McCarthyism in Vermont from 1946 through 1960.
Rootstock Publishing, courtesy

Blacklists and attacks on the free press. Intolerance and fear used for political gain. The Red Scare and anti-communist McCarthyism flourished across America—and Vermont—in the 1940s and 50s. We're talking with author Rick Winston about his new book looking at instances of "red scare" and "red-baiting" in Vermont.

VCFA sign in Montpelier, the letters surrounding the name Vermont College of Fine Arts with a building in the background.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

The list of 2018 finalists has been revealed for the Vermont Book Award — a literary prize awarded annually by Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, for works of outstanding literary merit by Vermont authors.

The Icecube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole sits atop an array of detectors buried deep within the clear antarctic ice.
Courtesy of National Science Foundation

It's a cutting-edge telescope buried a mile under the ice at the South Pole, but in many ways, the Icecube Neutrino Observatory is hardly a telescope at all. It doesn't point up at the sky; in fact, it points down, looking through the earth. It's just one of the paradoxical parts of a new field of astronomy looking at the universe by tracking the elusive “ghost particle” known as the neutrino. 

"Breakout," the new novel by author Kate Messner, captures a community's response - and questions - following the escape of two inmates from a nearby maximum security prison.
From left: Bloomsbury Publishing, Kate Messner / Courtesy

Two men escaped from a maximum security prison in Dannemora, New York, three years ago. The Adirondack community was wracked by fear and uncertainy as the manhunt to find the two convicted murders lasted nearly a month.

But the incident also inspired author Kate Messner to write a young adult novel based on the frightening real-life event.

Author Loung Ung, right, talks with "Vermont Edition" host Jane Lindholm before the students in Essex High School's Global Leadership Program.
Anna Ste. Marie / VPR

Author Loung Ung was just five years old when communist revolutionaries known as the Khmer Rouge took control of her home country of Cambodia. Nearly a quarter of the population died in the ensuing genocide. But she survived, eventually making her way to Vermont. She recently returned to her alma mater to speak with students as part of Essex High School's Global Leadership Program. 

Reeve Lindbergh's new book "Two Lives" explores her own experiences against the background of growing up with some of the most famous parents in the country.
courtesy of Reeve Lindbergh

Reeve Lindbergh grew up in the long shadow cast by her parents, Anne and Charles Lindbergh.

Her father’s feats as an aviator made him one of the best-known people of his time, and the kidnapping and death of the Lindbergh’s infant son in 1932 only increased the family’s notoriety. Later, Charles became a leader in the non-interventionist movement before World War II, the original America First Committee.

Newly exiled Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Kazakhstan in 1953 (left); Solzhenitsyn  with his sons in Cavendish in August 1976; Solzhenitsyn at his self-made writing table in Cavendish during the 1980s.
Cavendish Historical Society, courtesy

His novels earned him the 1970 Nobel Prize in literature and exile from the Soviet Union, but in Vermont Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is also know for the nearly 20 years he lived and worked in the town of Cavendish. We're looking at the Russian writer's works, his time in the state and what his novels say to readers in 2018.

"The Long Shadow" by Beth Kanell is set in the Northeast Kingdom in the run-up to the Civil War.
images courtesy of Beth Kanell

A new historical novel geared to a teenage audience tells the story of a young woman in the Northeast Kingdom in the run-up to the Civil War. Author Beth Kanell says she wrote the novel in part to challenge Vermonters on how they think about the state's history in relation to slavery. 

Vermont author Kimberly Harrington writes about the intersection of parenthood, work and social media in her new memoir.
Isaac Wasuck

Towards the beginning of her new book of essays, Vermont author Kimberly Harrington includes a short satirical piece titled "Just What I Wanted, a Whole Twenty-Four Hours of Recognition Once a Year." It's a good read for this time of year, as we approach the beloved/dreaded holiday known as Mother's Day. (It's Sunday, May 13, in case you were wondering.)

A wall display at Northfield Elementary School featured the covers of all this year's nominees for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award.
Meg Malone / VPR

Dorothy’s List readers have cast their ballots and the results have been tallied. The winner of this year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award is the World War II novel Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz!

Eight students sit in a library holding up copies of Firoozeh's Dumas' novel "It Ain't So Awful, Falafel."
Meg Malone / VPR

At the Orchard Elementary School in South Burlington, students come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. In fact, about a third of the students speak a language other than English at home. 

Last fall, a group of Orchard fifth-graders gathered to discuss It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel, a novel about an Iranian-born girl living in California in the late 1970s and early 1980s – much like author Firoozeh Dumas.

Four Westford Elementary students gather around a table in the library.
Meg Malone / VPR

Westford Elementary School students have broken up into small groups, clustered around library tables — but in this case, the tables are figurative life rafts. The students are discovering a nearly-forgotten piece of history, as they dive into the nonfiction book Lost in the Pacific, 1942 by Vermont author Tod Olson.

Bill Mares stands in front of a wall with an image of the cover of the book "The Full Vermonty."
Melody Bodette / VPR

A Gallup poll following President Donald Trump's first six months in office found his lowest approval rating among all 50 states was in Vermont, at just 26 percent. It is very much within that context that author Bill Mares got together with cartoonist Jeff Danziger to produce a book of essays called The Full Vermonty: Vermont in the Age of Trump.

Author Olivia Hoblitzelle heard a phrase in her 40s that influenced the way she embraced her own aging and those around her. Now at age 80, her book collects her reflections and stories on how to age well.
Courtesy, Olivia Hoblitzelle

Olivia Hoblitzelle has spent her career as a teacher, a therapist and a writer. Her lifelong work brought together the practices of meditation, cognitive therapy and yoga into Western medicine's domain. And now Hoblitzelle's most recent book, Aging With Wisdom: Reflections, Stories & Teachings, gathers her writing into focused pieces on how to age well.

A headshot of author Chris Bohjalian and the cover of his new novel The Flight Attendant.
Victoria Blewer

The new novel The Flight Attendant is a page-turner thriller — and the 20th book by Vermont's own Chris Bohjalian.

Elizabeth Atherton and Sally O’Brien work on placing their photos, taken in front of a green screen, into pictures of places from medieval France.
Aym Kolb Noyes / VPR

Readers at the Neshobe School in Brandon are really getting into Adam Gidwitz’s book The Inquisitor’s Tale, which takes place in the Middle Ages — meaning that with the help of imagination and technology, they are literally putting themselves into the narrative.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

With the 17 people who lost their lives when a gunman opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Florida, last week are still very much on the minds of Americans a two-year-old essay by Burlington writer Kimberly Harrington has renewed resonance.

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